Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Garden Blogger's Death Day - June Edition

Summer has really just about killed everything. The boy's lavender plant is history, the cucumbers are about to be pulled because they have only produced woppy cucumbers and I'm getting irritated, and I'm pulling zucchini and squash plants at the rate of one every two to three days. In two weeks I'm going to put in another round of cucumbers and beans which will have time to mature before the first frost.

The saddest death seems to be the boy's blueberry bushes that were thriving at the start of the season. I'm not sure if they've caught some sort of blight, which seems possible, or if they've just fried in their containers. I'm going to wait it out for the summer and then prune the fool out of them next spring and see what happens. I've got my fingers crossed.

Thanks, Kate, for hosting GBDD! It helps to know others are having trouble as well. As you say, Mother Nature sure is a fickle...mother.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ketchup Recap

Last night we decided to make ketchup which worked pretty well until it got to 11:00 and we had to reduce the recipe by half, which meant I'd be up pretty much half the night. I started out bemoaning the timing, but quickly realized it was for the best as it was the only time I was guaranteed to be undisturbed. Here's how the night went, starting with the onset of the reduction at 11:00. That's a full pot!
12:00 AM and you think you see some reduction, but it's really just messing with your head.
1:00 AM and progress can certainly be seen.
2:00 and it's half way reduced. It could honestly use another 30-40 minutes, but I was ready to call it quits.
I canned everything and walah! I had 10 and a half pints. The recipe called for 9, so I wasn't too far off, but it did prove to me that I could have reduced it further.
I tried it this morning and it wasn't so bad. VERY sweet, but not so bad. I bet it's going to make a mean meatloaf. I don't think it's anything I could put on a burger or fries or anything since it's not spreadable and still a bit chunky since I only had a blender and not a food mill, but for a first attempt it isn't so bad. Again, sweet, but not so bad. I used some apple cider vinegar since this is what I use in my salsa and love it, but I think it may have made it too sweet.
Will I do it again....most likely not. We'll see.
The morning comes early, and I'm going to bed now. Sweet gardening dreams.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lessons Learned...The Ketchup Edition

Ever since last year, I've had a hankering to make ketchup. My obstacles kept me from it. I don't have a food mill and I don't grow enough tomatoes to make 24 pounds of tomatoes at once, so no ketchup. Today, things changed. My girlfriend noticed an amazing price on tomatoes at the store and I found a blender ketchup recipe from the National Center for Home Food Preservation and we stocked up and set out to make ketchup.

We waited until we got the children to bed like we always do with anything else we can and so we set out coring, chopping and blending the tomatoes and now everything is reducing. It's 11:30 PM and it's reducing. It needs to reduce by half. That's not happening any time in the near future. Actually, the foreseeable future seems dim as well. But, it sure does smell like ketchup which has us both pretty tickled. I promised her I'd take photos every hour until it's done and post them tomorrow. I'm thinking it will be at least 3 hours and maybe more for it to reduce by half and then add canning time on top of it. If nothing else, it's quiet and honestly, it's pretty darn cool, although I don't think I'll start making ketchup in the evening again.

Hopefully it will work. Cross your fingers!

June 28 - Harvest Monday

Harvests have pretty much slown down this week because of the heat. It's just gotten too oppressive for things to flower and pollinate successfully. Heat seems to make the eggplant incredibly spongy, so my hopes now are to keep those plants alive for the next two months and maybe they'll start flowering again when it cools off in September. Zucchini is coming to an end as I rip out about a plant every other day or so because of SVB damage. The tomatoes aren't putting out many new flowers, but those that are there are ripening fast, which is nice. I'm taking a couple of Cherokee Purple tomatoes to my parent's house with me today. I hope they'll like them as much as I do. They're more of true tomato lovers than I am, so this should be a real treat for them.

The real odd factor comes in with the cucumbers. Last year I had over 40 pounds of cucumbers by this point and I've not yet gotten a cucumber that's not woppy. I can only guess it's the heat of this June in comparison to last. I've been dwelling on how to approach the garden now. Here in GA, I can get almost two rounds of summer crops in if I put some in the ground in July, but it also limits my fall crops. I need to decide what to baby in order to keep producing, where to cut my losses, what to replant and what space to save for the fall. Ah, decisions, decisions. Here are some pictures of this week's harvests. The girl was in here a minute ago demanding why there were pickles in her basket. I instructed her that they were not pickles and if you leave your basket in the living room it's fair game. Not pictured are four zucchini, two tomatoes, two squash and a cucumber.

Photobucket

Happy harvesting everyone and make sure to stop by Daphne's to see what everyone else is up to this week.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Timeless

Sights like this never get old.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Farmer's Market? Not Quite.

Yesterday my girlfriend and I were as close to pregnant women as we could possibly be. All of a sudden, we had a zipper pea craving that wouldn't budge. Usually her mother-in-law grows fields of zipper peas/cream crowder peas and we get them from her, but not this year. Yesterday we had to have peas and we had to have them right then.

This is round about the time the peas are picked and we looked everywhere on the Internet for farms or farmer's markets in our area. We found one less than 15 miles away and woke up early to get there when they opened. What an amazing disappointment. There was no farmer's market as advertised, but the farm was running a pick-your-own, so we thought there would be some hope there, but when we started walking around we were in shock. There were weeds higher than the crops. The woman pointed out some cucumbers and I actually said, "Where?" She pulled aside the grass and I said, "Oh."

They still had broccoli in the ground (keep in mind that this is GA and we've had 80-90+ degree heat since April, that had bolted beyond recognition and was host to an amazing number of cabbage worms. I asked about some dead, dark brown stalks and were told they were potatoes that would be ready in 2-4 more weeks. I was under the impression you took out potatoes before they died back completely.

I didn't know whether to be crestfallen or proud that my little garden would most likely out produce them in a heartbeat. I was a little surprised at how unkempt the place was.

We went to a grocery on our way back and found packages of frozen zipper peas which we bought and are cooking up for dinner tonight. They don't have snaps in them, but I'm going to infiltrate some beans as snaps. Overall, the day wasn't a total loss since the end result was the same. I suppose I also certainly feel pretty good about my garden. I would, however, like to find a good farmer's market in the area at which to find items that I can't grow in my own garden. Anyone know of any good ones in the Atlanta/North GA area?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Zucchini Days Are Here Again...and Again!

Yesterday was known as zucchini day. I posted yesterday on the zucchini chocolate cupcakes and then the most magnificent zucchini casserole ever which was even better tonight as left overs. I even made zucchini relish that morning. I started the day with 9 zucchini, but then during the day I went out and harvested several more. I had to use it all up as I already have bags upon bags in the freezer. So, this is where I started.
I don't know why I decided to make relish. I don't honestly think I've ever eaten relish on anything in my life. I suppose it was because 12 cups of chopped zucchini seemed like it would take up a lot of the veggies and it did. Just look at this bowl! However I still had zucchini left overs for the other two recipes.
So, I mixed in the onions and peppers and let it sit in salt overnight.
In the morning I cooked it down and then processed and canned it. It stunk something horrific, but that's most likely because I don't like peppers or pepper smells. It canned nicely and everything sealed.
Now it says to wait two weeks to try it. It's supposed to be good with bratwursts, but does anyone have any other ideas of what to do with all this? Now, I also harvested four more zucchini today, but I honestly think the plants are down for the count. I culled two more today because of SVB damage. They weren't putting out any more viable fruit. there are still a few more plants that have some hope. I'll most likely pull them at the end of next week if they are not producing anymore. It was a great run!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Granny On My Mind

Which version would you like...Ray Charles or Willie Nelson?

A few days ago, Granny sent me a link to her awesome chocolate zucchini cake recipe and then sent me a few others by email. I was facing a difficult zucchini issue having harvested 28 in one week and given away or eaten all I could. Michelle sent me a wonderful recipe for zucchini pickles, but I decided to try my hand at relish and made some zucchini relish this morning. I'll post on that tomorrow. However, even after the relish, which took 12 cups of finely chopped zucchini, which is no small amount, I still had 6 left over and harvested three more today.

This is where Granny's chocolate cake comes in. I decided to make cupcakes so I could freeze them and pull them out when wanted and here they are!
Ladies and Gentlemen, Granny is right. Chocolate is indeed a vegetable, and I'll proclaim it until the end of the earth because this child just put one of these in her mouth, bit of a piece, chewed and actually swallowed.
So, fine. It was the only bite she took and I'm sure there was no nutritional value left in the zucchini, what with the butter and sugar and all, but she put it in there and now there's zucchini in her belly. Done. Nuf said.
But I still had 4 left over so I made another recipe she sent. This was actually very, very good. I thought it would just be like a glorified pasta sauce, but it was really substantial and good!
So, Granny...thanks for being in my thoughts today. You've made zucchini enjoyable again.
I'll post on that relish soon, OH and I scored HUGE today. Huge garden score. Maybe I'll post on that tomorrow instead. Hmmm.. decisions, decisions.

UNCLE!

The garden is finally feeling the effects of the incessent heat and humidity. Everything has stopped growing and stopped flowering. We usually don't get to that point until July, but this June has been brutal with no relief in sight. Last June was mild and I was swimming in cucumbers. This June, cucumbers don't seem to be getting polinated correctly. Even the beans are protesting.

The only veggie out producing itself thus far has been the zucchini, but even that is crying foul and has decided to tap out. I came home yesterday and noticed squash vine borer damage. It was only a matter of time. I'm starting to have a different opinion about SVBs. They may not be so bad after all as they allow the zucchini to make a graceful garden exit.

When I pulled up the first one it snapped right at the soil line. Good thing it came out as it wouldn't produce any more anyway. This second one still has some fruit on it, so I'll let it be for awhile. There's one squash plant with damage, too. The rest of the zucchini is almost ready to come out as well. It's still putting out female flowers, but they wither before they open. I think they're just done. They've done a good job and I'm not disapointed at all. As a matter of fact, when I pull them out, I may just be able to plant some more summer crops as we've still got until October or November for a frost. Hmmmm....I may just do that.

With every sad note, there's a positive one on the horizon. Look what I picked last night:
Yup. That's my first Cherokee Purple and my first ever tomato I grew from seed, myself. Thank you Dan!! We had it for dinner tonight with yellow pear tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden and a store bought avocado for company in the mother of all salads . Actually, it wasn't a large salad, but it's one that my mother makes and I generally equate it with her. It was fantabulous. I can't believe how deep the flavor of the Cherokee Purple is in comparison to a general tomato. What a treat. I've got one more ripening now. Very exciting and almost makes up for the SVB damage.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dinner, Breakfast and Dinner Again Among Friends

Saturday night the boy, girl and I went down to the neighbor's house to give their daughter a present from the girl and promptly wound up staying for dinner. It wasn't our intention to stay, and the man was out running sound for a wedding so he wasn't around, but they were having a low country boil and you don't turn down a low country boil and beer, especially when it's someone else doing the preparation and cleaning. You just don't.

The meal and companionship was fantastic, the children played their hearts out, and they were kind enough to fix the man a plate for me to bring home. Sunday morning we had the sausage and shrimp in eggs with zucchini salsa and there was enough left for tonight to make a creamed sherry sauce with the shrimp and sausage and then mushrooms and onions, garlic, squash and greenbeans from the garden. It was a bit of an odd bucket of food to throw together, but the spicy meat was the perfect compliment to the sweet sherry sauce.
Thank you, Jesse and Caroline!

Speaking of friends, I found this here creature in the garden this evening. Here's his front view:
And here's his side view:
I have no idea whether he's friend or foe, but I'm not sharing my low country boil leftovers with him regardless. No way. No how.
The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.
Check Spelling

Harvest Monday!

The weather here has been just brutally hot and humid, so much that it's hard to go outside for ten minutes and not be dripping with sweat. The humidity is so oppressive that it's literally difficult to pull the thick, stagnant air into your lungs. Any garden activities need to be carried out early in the morning or later after the sun has gone down, however, when it's 85 right now at 9:15 PM, there's not much relief.

Yesterday morning the man came out to help me string a trellis for the side yard cucumbers that are just now sending out tendrils. Things tend to grow so slowly when it gets this hot...except for the zucchini who are loving life right now. I picked my first decent sized red tomato today! It's just beautiful. I'm not sure what the other little red ones are, but they're more like a glorified cherry tomato than a slicing variety. The major news on the tomato front is that I've got a Cherokee Purple that's ripening! It's just beautiful and I can't wait. It will either be ready tomorrow or the next day.

The key word for this week's harvest is, "Zucchini." Every day there's zucchini. Did I mention we've harvested zucchini this week? There was the monster bat from yesterday and wouldn't you know it that I found another one just like it today after I had already gone out there to pick zucchini this morning! I should tie the two together with some rope or chain or something and use them as nunchucks. "WWWWhhaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuahhhhh" (note me whipping around zucchini like a crazed warrior and most likely knocking my own self out, not coming close to hitting anyone else).

There's one missing picture here of a squash, six zucchinis, two baby tomatoes, dragon tongue beans and Kentucky Wonder pole beans. I had the camera out...I just never snapped the shot.

So, here are my harvests below. The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.
Photobucket

Stop by Daphne's to see what everyone else is harvesting!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Eyes Have It!

Actually, they were the girl's eyes as well as her mouth as she was yelling "Squash BUG, Squash BUG, Squash BUG" that lead me to this sucker. She had herself worked way under the zucchinis and was screaming squash bug at the top of her lungs. I grabbed two plants and slid them out of the way to get to the bug when lo and behold, look what was pushed up against the back wall and virtually out of sight:
It's a monster, I tell you! Stinkin' Halloween carving worthy, if you ask me. My hand doesn't close around it and it's longer and fatter than my forearm. How could I have missed this! I wondered why that one plant wasn't doing much of anything. Looks like its energy was being focused. Anyway, I managed to get the girl inside before I picked it because the last mammoth we had like this last year wound up getting a diaper, a bottle, and being pushed around in her toy stroller like a baby doll. The boy was primed for a photograph with it, however.
Peace, Love, Happiness and Zucchinis, Dudes. I'm wondering if this constitutes as "seed saving" size. It may not be pure seed, but it's worth a shot, right?

Dreams

This is going to be totally garden unrelated.

Last night I dreamed about EG and Granny. It was about as disjointed as dreams can be and when I look back at it, I'm not sure it was flattering to any of us. The dream picked up in the middle and I'm not sure why we were all together, but there we were in Granny's yard. Actually, I was in Granny's yard. EG was in a chicken coop. He wasn't there visiting the chickens or collecting eggs; this was his designated location. His 'room' if you will. There was nothing out of the ordinary about it and it wasn't inhumane. He had a large potato bin full of water and Granny's own cage was right next to it so they could talk.

Flash forward and I'm in the house trying to figure out dinner. Granny's husband, who looks like my father, but I know him for who he's supposed to be, said that he supposed I could use the chicken defrosting in the fridge since he didn't listen to Granny and take it out for dinner the day before. There were 9 pieces of chicken, which were perfect for us all. EG disagreed. He wanted more. I said my two children could share a piece. No good. I told him he could have the extra and then half of mine as well and then throw in the girl's half as well since she won't abide by any meat being on her plate that hasn't been processed at least three times over.

No good. "Ribbit, I'm a big man," EG said. "Men need food." BAM! and we're in my house as I go down to the basement to get a whole turkey breast which EG has agreed will suffice along with his original piece of chicken, the extra chicken and the girl's half and my half. While I'm down there I realize I had a pack of ground beef so I didn't need to go buy some the night before (which I really did), but the freezer hadn't frozen it the whole way. I took out the turkey breast and went back upstairs. EG's at the pantry with an unopened Sam's size bottle of ranch dressing and said, "Is this all you got?" This is where the dream ended.

Looks like I need to quit reading blogs before I go to bed. ;) The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Consipiracy Is Alive and Well

The conspiracy of the vegetable gods is well doccumented here and here. Just because it is a new year does not mean that the conspirators in the vegetable world have fallen off their game. Oh no. They are far too slick and they're up to their old tricks for this is the garden:

Beautiful Tomatoes
Crisp Cucumbers

And the lettuce.
Maybe I just need to redefine my idea of salads. I picked five more zucchini today....maybe I could just use those as lettuce....you know...it would work!! We also ate the first little crookneck squash. Perhaps the veggie gods know what they're doing after all.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Down Side to Raised Garden Beds, But I've SO Got This

My cup, or rather zucchini, runneth over.

There was no storm or wind, this zucchini just really outgrew her space and she toppled out of the bed and onto the ground. I don't think the stem was severed, and she'll be fine, she's just hanging out in the pathway now. Actually, this same thing is about to happen to the zucchini on the other end of the bed. I can see how this would be a downside to raised beds, especially ones 12 inches high like mine because on the ground, these things could sprawl everywhere without the danger of cracking the main stem, however, not enough of one to make me change my mind about how crazy-awesome raised bed gardening is and it also brings me to my purpose here:


I may not be able to grow much, but I can grow the fool out of zucchini!

Only a lonely squash and cucumber to add to the mix, but I can always seem to grow enough zucchini to feed a small state. My friends, what veggie are you guilt riddenly proud of? It's time to lay aside your humility and share your gardening ego boosting crop!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Peek-a-Boo -- Garden Style

Early morning, when the sun is just peaking over the fence line, is my favorite part of the day. I love it because of the early morning sounds, smells, and solitude it brings. I also love the way the garden leaves are illuminated like these bean leaves on the trellis.

The zucchini leaves are also bright!

This is a great time to scout out the undersides of the leaves for any unwanted squash bug eggs because all unwanted critters stand out like this guy on the upper right:
I get closer to him and he starts to look familiar.....
Peek-a-boo, Mr. Fly. I see you!
All that being said, this is how I check the undersides of my leaves, especially the squash and zucchini plants daily, but for some reason I seemed to have missed a cluster of squash bug eggs on this very same plant this morning because when I came home today I saw a battalion of little squash bugs on this same plant photographed above. I think I got them all, but I can't be sure. I've got my fingers crossed!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To Every Thing There Is A Season

And to every season there is a squash vine borer moth, one of which I chanced to have happened upon in the garden yesterday afternoon.

Every other bug in the area I'll go after with a vengeance and flip into cups of soapy water or utter my best EG redneck battle cry and squish their guts out, but the SVB moth forces me to recognize that I may not, as a matter of fact, be at the top of the food chain.

I have four hills of zucchini all squished in together where it's almost impossible to check each and every leaf stalk for svb eggs, and four hills of squash which wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit if the pests infected those good for nothing plants who haven't given me one squash yet. It would serve them right, but still too many and too close together to dig through with any success. I still have a long, long time before damage is noted to the point of needing to rip out the plants. Last year, the plants were heavily infested and still trucked right along, but it's the principle of the matter. They've dared touch what's mine.

And when the time comes and I do rip out the plants either on my own time frame or theirs, I will delight in splitting the stems and then listening to their pathetic please for help as I dispatch them as well. YeeeHaaaaaw!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Harvest Monday - And the Zucchini Plays On.

Lots of yummy goodness got picked this week. I only wish the cucumbers would hurry up! Last week, Momma_S over at Gardening With Care posted how to make microwaved potato chips with her potato harvest and that's exactly what we did with these. It was excellent! We thought to save them for lunch, but the boy and I scarfed them all down before they finished cooling. Definitely something I'll be trying again!
Here's some more zucchini and beans. I picked another round of beans, five more zucchini and three eggplants also this week, but the boy's "camping out" in the room with the camera adapter so I haven't loaded those pictures. I certainly need some squash to balance out that zucchini, and QUICK! Last night I also picked several jalapenos and made some more poppers, this time wrapped in bacon! So much better, my friends. However, I was perplexed because some of the jalapenos were very, very hot and others were pleasantly mild, all off of the very same plant. What could cause some peppers to be hot and some not when they came off of the same plant? In other garden news, I tried to string a grid for my new cucumbers yesterday, but it was a tad bit too short, so I need to attach another piece to elongate it. Hopefully I can do that today or tomorrow. Be sure to hop on over to Daphne's to see what everyone else is harvesting today!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Move Over. I'm Crowded...We've Got to Make Room For KA-Jamas!

Awhile ago, I posted that the new birds kicked out the old nests and proceeded to build their own. Now the little birdies are so large they can hardly fit in the nest. I'm thinking that they'll be out of the nest within the week.
Look at the momma giving us stink-eye. She sits on the windowsill and just stares at us and if we hazard to use the front door, she and her mate scream bloody murder and closely circle us. I'm afraid one of them will fly in the house. In other news, my neighbor built himself a garden this year and I went to take pictures of it yesterday. It's doing so well and he has squash the size of baseball bats. I started his and mine at the same time and it makes me curious as to why mine entire plants aren't bigger than a dinner plate. I took this far away picture, but when I got up close to take more, I noticed they had one of the most impressive squash bug infestations I'd ever seen. The bugs had run out of real estate on the bottom of leaves and had moved to the top of the leaves and the eggplant. Nymphs were crawling everywhere. We did what we could to get rid of everything, but there's no way we got all of the eggs. The did their garden on a slope and honestly, it's just beautiful!
Granny posted today about the funny things her granddaughter said and it reminded me of the film I made of the girl. She can't say, "pajamas" to save her life. She honestly can't hear the difference. We wound up in a shouting match a week ago where she finally grabbed my face between her two hands and yelled, "puh-ka-JAMAS!" She's hard to hear in the film, but it sure is funny.

video

The Bee's Knees and I'm Seeing Red

The bees have finally shown up to the party. So far, I've been having to pollinate every zucchini myself. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but before yesterday I hadn't seen a single bee besides one lone bumble bee who started working on the cucumbers tirelessly last week.

Yesterday I went out to hand pollinate some more zucchini that I knew were going to be flowering and when I picked a male flower I realized the pollen was all but gone. Then, I saw this little booger and two of his friends flying about, in and out of flowers.

I went back inside and decided to trust in the bee. Have faith in the bee to do his job. He'd better, too, because for the first time this summer, look what opened (I know it's a bad picture): So, I'm happy and hopefully I'll have some squash soon. Other than that, look at what else is going on in the garden:
These are on the plant that has over 40 little tomatoes on them I picked the two red ones today and they both fit in one hand. They're small, and I'm wondering if that's because the plant is taxed with so much fruit, but all of them on this plant are about the same size. The plant is supposed to be a Cherokee Purple, but it looks like I may have gotten my seeds mixed up. I started Cherokee Purple, Brandywine (obviously not that kind), Beefmaster and Black Cherry. I'm supposing this has to be the beefmaster, but they're tiny for that as well. Who knows! I bet they'll taste good regardless.




Friday, June 11, 2010

A Warning To The Japanese Beetle Population

This, too, can happen to you.
Respect the garden or learn to respect the soapy water. You can't win. I can hear you chomping. I will find you and you will drown, but you can take solace in that you won't be alone. Your friends will follow.

And in honor of Kate and Crew from Gardening Without Skills and her oddly magnificent poetic skills, I offer you my own humble composition:

Japanese Beetle,
You good-for-nothing a$$. Go
Eat the neighbor's leaves.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sweet Potatoes In Containers - My Pots Runneth Over

Earlier this week, EG put up some pictures showing his sweet potatoes in his containers. I decided to do mine in containers this year as well, but I didn't have his long ones. I only had large circular pots, but I decided to try it anyway.
Last year I let the runners go and only had a hand full of stringy potatoes. This year I had all intentions of cutting the runners so the plants could focus on the tubers.
All intentions aside. They just look so pretty trailing down like that. I'll cut them soon, but they're such a nice addition to the front walk and look so much prettier than the dying potato plants out there.
I noticed last year that all of the potatoes formed near the surface and not to the bottom which makes me worried since there's not a lot of surface area in those pots. I'm so curious as to how this is going to work out I can hardly wait to dig them up some time in October.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Monster Bugs Cannot Spoil a Debut!

When we were in college, the man was a member of a fairly successful progressive rock band named Volare. If you care to, you can click here to hear some music samples from Amazon. Since then, life has gotten in the way of playing music, but recently he's hooked up with two other men and have formed Velvet City Mercy. You can find them also on Facebook. Last night they played their first gig in Athens, GA. They pulled a good crowd for their first gig AND a Tuesday night. I was very happy for them all. Give them a listen and tell him what you think!

When we came back home last night, I thought for sure there was a frog in the drive way and I rushed to watch it jump. This sucker wasn't a frog; it was a monster. I swear it almost killed me.
At the very least it ate the small dog next door. The man put his car keys down so you could see the monstrosity.
We let him go about his business, but he sure was impressive.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Feeling Old at Chez Ribbit

Ribbit's feeling old, my friends. When I sat the boy and girl to dinner tonight the boy yelled "Radical!" and the girl, "Awesome, Mamma!" I felt nostalgic and though to myself that some terms withstand the ages and remembered how cutting edge I felt when I said those same things way back when. Then....after dinner....the boy hit us with the doozie that makes all parents feel more ancient than bell bottoms and hoop skirts.

After the boy and girl were done with dinner tonight, the man was taking them upstairs and I heard the boy utter, "That's SOOO 90's" to something his father said with as much disdain and hatred as he could muster.
So 90's!? Wasn't that just yesterday? And this is after we served the boy and the girl a romantic dinner at Chez Ribbit replete with fancy dinner plates, princess costume (which you can't see beneath the table), neck tie, a fine white June 12 expiration 2%, and the only candles we had in the house.
I even talked like a blasted high dollar waiter AND was stiffed a tip. Rotten children. However, the boy made the happiest plate he has in a long while and ate all of his garden variety Dragon Tongue beans, so you'll see that addition in the side bar.

I'll spare you the girl flapping her hands by her ears like she was fending of demons and screaming, "Get them off, get them off!"
Then, in the ultimate you-know-you're-old-when moment, I seriously considered making a sign that warns all Japanese beetles that there will be no more fornicating in my garden. That's yucky. At least they're too preoccupied to realize it when I dump them in soapy water. How's that for a cold shower. How ya' like me now, you ruttin' fools. There will be no engaging in extra curricular activities on my watch.
The nerve of some bugs. The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Big Time Harvest Monday

This week alone, I harvested 10 zucchini, four eggplant, a bowl full of jalapenos and tons of carrots! I only got a picture of these three zucchini and two eggplants, but I was happy with it all.
Seems like zucchini is going in everything now. I made a hot dip last with garlic, zucchini, jalapenos, eggplant and artichokes and for dinner the other day we had zucchini and eggplant pie.

MMMMMMM....Zucchini pie......
I just love it and it's so easy. You get a pie shell, unless you're Granny and you make the pie shell, too. You slice the veggies and some garlic and onion and saute in 1/4 cup butter for 8 minutes. Cool it a bit and mix it in a bowl with two eggs, two cups of cheese, salt, pepper, oregano and parsley. I know it sounds ridiculous, but spread a thin layer (about a tablespoon) of brown or Dijon mustard on the bottom of the pie crust and pour the rest in and cook at 350 for about 30 minutes or so. I'll be making tons of these to freeze and pull out when needed.

The boy got his first blueberry "harvest." Here's what was left after I made the mistake of putting the bowl in front of him before I had the camera.
Then, I pulled two more pots of potatoes.
Do you see the monster one back there? Look again...
I was crazy happy again and made the same roasted potato dish as before. I've got one more pot of potatoes left that I'm saving for a rainy day. I'll be certain to be doing potatoes in containers again next year! They were fantastic. Be sure to hop over to Daphne's to see what everyone else has harvested this week!